Jen & John
Founders (aka "the farmer" and "the farmer's wife")
Jen and John Bokaer-Smith met at college at U.C. Berkeley, in Urban Gardening class. It was clear from the beginning that agriculture was in our future! We returned to Jen's hometown of Ithaca after college, and we got married and started the farm. Many of our wedding gifts came from the farming supply company where we registered. (Perplexed guests wrote things like, "I hope you like this dirt squincher," on wedding cards...) After a few years of running the farm while managing the produce section at our local cooperative market, John quit the juggling act and has been farming full time since 1995. Jen works off the farm full-time as an educator but still helps out, especially with big-picture farm planning, tending the chickens, and growing flowers any time there's a family wedding. Nathaniel, who is now in college, spent his early summers in a backpack while we were hoeing weeds or washing produce. As a kid he helped out a few days a week—especially with harvesting berries, tending his chickens, and helping at the market stall.
Chris, orchard manager, was born in Chicago and raised in the Driftless Region of rural Southwestern Wisconsin, he majored in Biology and Environmental Studies at Cornell College in Iowa. Chris grew up around apple orchards and started picking apples in high school; he fell in love with the trees and has found himself in an orchard almost every fall for the past 12 years, picking fruit in Wisconsin, New Hampshire and New York. After moving to Ithaca in 2010 Chris became interested in all the aspects of organic fruit cultivation and has since found himself immersed in the world of orchard husbandry. In addition to watching the fruit grow, he enjoys hiking, long-distance biking, cooking and is actively involved in the Ithaca Community Gardens.
Aviv is currently half-way through a two year teaching grant from The Austrian Ministry of Education and Fulbright Austria. He has worked in many capacities at West Haven Farm since 2008. No matter where he is in the world, Aviv always looks forward to spending time at the Farmer's Market or in the field with the great West Haven crew. He has a bachelors degree in comparative literature and international development from Clark University. Ultimately he plans to go back to pursue a graduate degree once his body gets too tired to pick strawberries.
Assistant Orchard Manager
Jenny has done a variety of work at West Haven over the years, staring with market helper while she was still in high school. In addition to working at West Haven, Jenny works with her folks at Hemlock Grove Farm, one of the first organic farms in the area.